This week has been full of surprises and more blessings. The best happened on Thursday when we received an email update from our agency on the progress of our adoption. The email included over ten new photos of our son taken this week by Vesta, and several of the photos had Aleksandar holding the family photo album that we sent him over a month ago. He was smiling in several of the photos, and it appears that he has actually gained some weight since Rob and I saw him in December. All of this made me and Rob very happy. I wish so much that I could share his photos with you, but until he is legally ours in court that is not possible. However, with a little luck that will not be much longer.
Our agency also informed us that our dossier has been sent to the courts so we should be getting a court date in the near future. This was good news as well as we had no idea what was happening with our case in Bulgaria since we received our provisional I-800 approval over six weeks ago. If we can get a court date before the end of April, we would still have a good shot at traveling sometime in June. This is would definitely be my preference rather than July as I have been scouting out the airline sites for prices on flights in June and July. June is bad enough at around $1,600 per ticket, but the July prices are even worse at around $1,900 per ticket. Of course, travel in June would also mean we get to bring Aleksandar home sooner!
Our agency also informed us of some new training requirements that they have instituted since we started the process. There were three new training requirements for families adopting internationally, but Rob and I will only be required to meet the final one since we are so far along in the process. This new training will center around the needs of our specific child, which I think is a great thing for our agency to offer. I can't say enough good things about our agency, Bethany Christian Services. We would definitely use them again.
Bethany also gave us some good news this week in the form of a bill, believe it or not. We received the bill for the remainder of our Bulgarian fees which was in Euros. With the exchange rate on Friday, our bill was significantly less than we had anticipated. I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the financial end of this process. Once we pay this bill, we just need to have enough money to pay for our travel, which includes 3 round trip tickets to Bulgaria, one one-way ticket to the US for Aleksandar, our apartment in Bulgaria, and money for meals, etc. while we are in Bulgaria. We have a great head start on this as well, since Aleksandar had a $5,000 grant attached to his file on the waiting children's list to be used for travel for the family who chose to adopt him.
Speaking of travel, Julia is very excited today because Rob and I are taking her to the post office near the airport in Nashville today to get her picture made for her passport. She is so excited about meeting her little brother that she would hop on a plane today if she could.